Reformed Forum

Reformed Forum exhibited at the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary conference in Greer, SC. This episode offers a deep dive into the Confessional Presbyterian Journal's latest issue, with a special focus on the 50th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the historical development of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission (SJC). Camden Bucey brings together Rev. Zachary Groff, pastor of Antioch Presbyterian Church, and Dr. Scott Cook, visiting professor of apologetics at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, both of whom are deeply involved in the Confessional Presbyterian Journal.

The conversation starts with an exploration of the journal itself, highlighting its dedication to addressing pressing issues in the church through a blend of pastoral scholarship and rigorous theological analysis. The latest issue's theme revolves around the PCA's 50th anniversary, offering a collection of articles that reflect on the denomination's history, mission, and theological commitments.

Zachary Groff provides an overview of the journal's contents, emphasizing the significance of the PCA's commitment to the Great Commission and its historical context. He mentions various contributions that examine the PCA's foundation, its growth, and its ongoing theological debates, particularly those concerning the church's mission and the inclusivity of nations in God's plan through Christ.

Dr. Scott Cook focuses on the specific topic of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission, outlining its origin and evolution. He describes the initial challenges faced by the PCA in maintaining discipline and order within its rapidly growing community. Cook traces the SJC's development back to the 1980s, a period marked by significant debate and eventual compromise within the denomination. He articulates the tension between the desire for a grassroots, decentralized approach to church governance and the practical need for an efficient, centralized judicial body to handle disciplinary cases. This part of the conversation sheds light on the broader issues of polity and ecclesiastical authority within the PCA and offers insights into how the denomination has navigated these challenges over the years.

Throughout the episode, the guests underscore the Confessional Presbyterian Journal's role in fostering informed theological conversation and community engagement within the Reformed tradition. The discussion not only celebrates the PCA's past achievements but also critically examines its struggles and future directions, particularly in the realms of theological fidelity, church discipline, and mission​​.

00:00:07 - Introduction
00:03:38 - Guest Introductions: Rev. Zachary Groff and Dr. Scott Cook
00:07:35 - In-depth Look at the Confessional Presbyterian Journal
00:23:00 - The Formation and Significance of the PCA's Standing Judicial Commission
00:27:06 - Challenges and Future Directions for the PCA
00:56:35 - The Development of the SJC: From Concept to Reality
01:00:20 - The Challenges and Controversies of Implementing the SJC
01:04:26 - Reflecting on Growth and the Future of the PCA
01:12:23 - Reflecting on PCA's Place in the Reformed World

This is Christ the Center episode 848 (

Direct download: ctc848.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob discuss Louis Berkhof’s little book, Summary of Christian Doctrine. We begin a discussion of chapter XXIII, "The Doctrine of the Church and the Means of Grace."  We'll spend a few episodes discussing this chapter to dig a little deeper into the nature of the church.
Direct download: tsp307.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 7:14am CDT

In this enlightening episode, we discuss the nuances of conscience and confessional identity during the Reformation. Joined by Dr. Timothy Scheuers, we turn our attention to the transformative period of the 16th century, exploring how conscience acted not only as a catalyst for reform but also as a complex element influencing church unity, confessional standards, and the intricate relationship between church and state.

The core of our discussion centers around Dr. Scheuer’s book, Consciences and the Reformation: Scruples over Oaths and Confessions in the Era of Calvin and His Contemporaries (Oxford University Press), providing a fresh perspective on the role of conscience in driving forward the Reformation’s agenda. We explore the pivotal moments and figures of this era, including Calvin’s return to Geneva and the establishment of the Geneva Academy, to understand how these historical milestones continue to influence contemporary Christian thought and practice.

Through a blend of historical examination and practical application, this episode not only sheds light on the foundational aspects of Reformed theology but also invites listeners to reflect on the relevance of these principles in today’s ecclesiastical landscape. Whether you're a theologian, a pastor, or simply someone interested in Christian history and doctrine, this episode offers valuable insights into the enduring legacy of the Reformation and its significance for the contemporary church.

Rev. Dr. Scheuers is the Associate Pastor of First United Reformed Church of Chino, CA, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of History at Providence Christian College (Pasadena, CA).

Direct download: ctc847.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

This week on Theology Simply Profound, Rob and Bob discuss Louis Berkhof’s little book, Summary of Christian Doctrine. We turn to chapter XXII, "Sanctification and Perseverance." After too long of a break from recording, Rob and Bob were able to sit down together to discuss God's work of sanctifying his people, the nature of good works, and how God's people persevere to the end. 
Direct download: tsp306.mp3
Category:Theology Simply Profound -- posted at: 11:48am CDT

In this episode, we speak with William Boekestein, Jonathan Landry Cruse, and Andrew J. Miller, the authors behind a new book, Glorifying and Enjoying God: 52 Devotions through the Westminster Shorter Catechism. These three pastors and theologians share their insights and experiences from their journey through the Westminster Shorter Catechism, offering listeners a unique opportunity to understand the profound theological truths encapsulated in this historic summary of faith.

William Boekestein, serving the Immanuel Fellowship Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, alongside his wife Amy and their four children, brings a pastoral heart to our discussion. Jonathan Landry Cruse, author of What Happens When We Worship and pastor of Community Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Kalamazoo, where he resides with his wife and three children, offers a perspective enriched by his literary and ministerial endeavors. Andrew J. Miller, the Regional Home Missionary for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in central Pennsylvania, shares his extensive missionary experiences, living out the catechism’s teachings alongside his wife Rebekah and their five children.

Together, they speak about the motivations behind their collaborative work, the importance of the Westminster Shorter Catechism in today’s Christian walk, and how the book aims to deepen the reader’s love and knowledge of God. Join us as we explore how understanding God leads to a richer relationship with Him, and how the intertwined nature of heart and mind can bring us closer to the glory and enjoyment of God.

Direct download: ctc846.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

Dr. James Cassidy speaks at the Reformed Forum pre-conference in advance of the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary 2024 Spring Theology Conference.
Direct download: 2024_gpts_02_cassidy.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 4:54pm CDT

Camden Bucey presents a biblical theology of the nations during the Reformed Forum pre-conference in advance of the Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary 2024 Spring Theology Conference.
Direct download: 2024_gpts_01_bucey.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 4:10pm CDT

In this episode, we welcome Aaron Renn, author of Life in the Negative World: Confronting Challenges in an Anti-Christian Culture, to explore the profound shifts in cultural attitudes towards Christianity and the broader implications for faith in the modern era. Renn, with a diverse background ranging from management and technology consulting as a Partner at Accenture, to urban policy as a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and now a Senior Fellow at American Reformer, brings a unique perspective to the discussion. His extensive work has been featured in globally recognized publications such as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic.

Life in the Negative World considers the dramatic changes in societal views on Christianity, tracing the journey from the mid-twentieth century—when church attendance was at its peak—to the present day, where professing Christian beliefs often results in social demotion within elite circles. Renn examines the transition from a once Christianity-affirming society to one that is, at best, indifferent, and at worst, hostile to Christian morals and teachings. In our conversation, he articulates the lessons learned from over seven decades of Christian cultural engagement, offering insightful strategies for churches, institutions, and individuals to maintain their faithfulness in an increasingly adversarial environment.

This episode is not just a reflection on the challenges faced by modern Christians but also a guide on how to navigate these tumultuous waters with grace, resilience, and a deepened faith. Renn emphasizes the necessity for a diverse array of strategies to engage missionally with a world that often seems at odds with Christian values. Whether you’re a person of faith struggling to find your place in this “negative world,” a church leader seeking direction for your community, or simply interested in the evolving relationship between religion and society, this conversation with Aaron Renn offers valuable insights and hope for the path forward.

Join us as we discuss the implications of living out one’s faith in an era that increasingly marginalizes Christian perspectives, and discover how to embrace the challenges of the negative world with courage and conviction.


Direct download: ctc845.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

Reformed Forum hosted an online symposium on February 29, 2024, featuring a series of thought-provoking sessions designed to explore the intersections of theology, history, and the contemporary challenges facing the church.

This panel discussion featured Alan Strange’s insightful book, Empowered Witness (Crossway). The session examined Strange's exploration of the spirituality of the church doctrine, a pivotal biblical concept developed in the nineteenth century, and its relevance in today's politically charged environment. Emphasizing the necessity for the church to prioritize its spiritual mission over earthly political and social agendas, Strange's work is a clarion call to refocus on the Great Commission. C. N. Willborn, D. G. Hart, and Timon Cline offered their perspectives on the book. Then, Dr. Strange responded and engage with their insights. This panel was an engaging analysis of the historical and contemporary roles of the church, appealing to both thoughtful laypeople and church leaders.

Watch the video:

Direct download: 2024-02-29_symposium_03_strange.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 11:14am CDT

Reformed Forum hosted an online symposium on February 29, 2024, featuring a series of thought-provoking sessions designed to explore the intersections of theology, history, and the contemporary challenges facing the church.

In this session Owen Anderson explored the phenomenon of secularization, particularly focusing on the transformative changes that took place at Princeton Seminary and within Presbyterian education. Following Dr. Anderson's presentation, we entertained questions from viewers who submitted questions in our online chat. This discussion was especially timely in light of a growing educational renaissance, driven by parents increasingly concerned about the radical-leftist tendencies in modern education. There is a compelling opportunity to consider the rich Presbyterian history, which could provide valuable alternatives and insights. This topic is not only relevant to our current cultural context but also deeply rooted in our denominational heritage, offering a unique perspective on the evolving landscape of education.

Watch the video:

Direct download: 2024-02-29_symposium_02_anderson.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 11:12am CDT

Reformed Forum hosted an online symposium on February 29, 2024, featuring a series of thought-provoking sessions designed to explore the intersections of theology, history, and the contemporary challenges facing the church.

In this session, Joseph Minich presented the primary thesis of his book, Bulwarks of Unbelief (Lexham Press), in which he argues that a felt absence of God, as experienced by the modern individual, offers a better explanation for the rise in atheism. Recent technological and cultural shifts in the modern West have produced a perceived challenge to God's existence. As modern technoculture reshapes our awareness of reality and belief in the invisible, it in turn amplifies God's apparent silence. In this new context, atheism is a natural result. And absent of meaning from without, we have turned within.

Watch the video:

Direct download: 2024-02-29_symposium_01_minich.mp3
Category:Special Edition -- posted at: 11:03am CDT

In this installment of Van Til Group, we turn to the section of Defense of the Faith (pp. 69–72), which begins the chapter titled “The Christian Philosophy of Behavior.” This section outlines the Christian perspective on ethics, drawing from the Reformed confessions to emphasize that human actions, or behavior, should aim to glorify God. It presents a confessional scheme focusing on three key aspects: the highest good (summum bonum) that humans should strive for, the criterion for achieving this good (which must be based on God’s revealed will in Scripture), and the motivation for pursuing this good, highlighting the necessity of faith and regeneration by the Holy Spirit for genuine ethical action.

The chapter then considers the relationship between ethics and the Christian philosophy of knowledge. It asserts that understanding God’s nature is fundamental to grasping the essence of Christian ethics, with God’s absolute personality serving as the ultimate interpretative category for human existence. This perspective contrasts with non-Christian views by emphasizing that the good is defined by God’s nature and will, rather than existing independently.

The section on “Man as Made in God’s Image” discusses the original moral perfection of humanity, created in the image of the Godhead, and underscores the derivative nature of human moral consciousness. Unlike non-Christian ethics, which may view moral consciousness as the ultimate arbiter of good, Christian ethics sees it as reliant on divine revelation. This foundational difference in epistemology between Christian and non-Christian thought underscores the Christian belief in a receptive rather than creative construction of moral knowledge, with humanity’s moral nature and external revelation jointly guiding ethical understanding.

Direct download: ctc844.mp3
Category:Christ the Center -- posted at: 12:00am CDT